Understanding How Recap Hours Work

As an employee or employer, you may have heard of the term “recap hours” being thrown around, but what exactly does it mean? Recap hours refer to the amount of time an employee spends on duty between the end of one workday and the start of the next workday. Recap hours can affect an employee’s pay, overtime, and even eligibility for benefits. In this blog post, we will explore what recap hours are, how they work, and why they matter.

How does recap hours work?

The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs the payment of wages and overtime for employees in the United States. According to the FLSA, a workweek runs from Sunday to Saturday, and all hours worked within the workweek are combined to determine an employee’s overtime eligibility. Recap hours fall under this workweek framework. Recap hours occur when an employee works beyond their regular schedule and continues to work until the start of their next scheduled shift. For example, if an employee works a regular 9-5 shift and has a meeting that goes until 6 pm, the additional hour they worked would be considered a recap hour.

What are recap hours?

Recap hours are essential for determining an employee’s pay and eligibility for overtime pay. When calculating an employee’s pay, recap hours become a part of the total hours worked within the workweek. Suppose an employee works 40 regular hours and has an additional 4 recap hours for that week. In that case, their total hours worked within the workweek are 44, and the employer is required to pay them for those additional hours.

Additionally, recap hours count towards overtime eligibility. Employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek, including recap hours, are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular pay.

Recap hours can also determine an employee’s eligibility for certain benefits. Some employers require employees to work a minimum number of hours to qualify for benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. Recap hours are included in the total hours worked, so if an employee regularly works 38 hours and has 2 recap hours each week, they would meet the minimum required hours to qualify for these benefits.

It’s important to note that not all recap hours are created equal. Recap hours are subject to the same rules and regulations as regular hours worked, such as minimum wage and overtime laws. However, exempt employees, such as managers and professionals, may not be eligible for overtime pay due to their salary classification.

These employees are still subject to recap hours, but their pay may not be affected in the same way as non-exempt employees. It is also up to each employer’s policy to determine how to handle recap hours, so it’s essential to review your employer’s policies to understand how they handle these types of hours.


Recap hours may seem small, but they can have a significant impact on an employee’s pay and benefits. Understanding what recap hours are, how they work, and why they matter is crucial for both employees and employers. By properly accounting for recap hours and ensuring compliance with labor laws, employers can avoid legal disputes and keep their employees happy and compensated fairly. So, be mindful of your recap hours and the policies in place at your workplace to ensure that you are receiving the compensation and benefits you deserve.